Thursday, December 30, 2004

December 30, 2004
Worked with Meghan to get goals and deadlines settled for CGII schedule. Here is one of my goals for the book, to answer these questions:

• Was Tombstone Violent? (there is a PC school of thought today that the violence in Tombstone and the West has been exaggerated by writers like me and that statistically it was no more violent than a typical, modern city. Even Wyatt Earp is quoted as saying when asked if Tombstone was really a rough place: "Not half as bad as LA.")

• Did Hollywood Get It Right? (this could be fleshed out for several of the gunfights, but I'm somewhat concerned that it will take the reader out of the authentic past. I've written one of them, from the movie Tombstone, concerning the death of Marshal White in the Curly Bill shooting, but that leads me to feel like I need to do one on the Johnny-Behind-the-Deuce shooting using Kevin Costner's movie and certainly the O.K. Corral fight and maybe the Iron Springs fight—covered in both movies—also, it really boils down to those two movies, Tombstone and Wyatt Earp, as dealing with most of these incidents and I'm wondering if doing four of five of these, and referring to the same two movies is worth it. Will the reader find it interesting, or irritating? What do you think?)

• Was Sadie (Josephine) Marcus Earp A Prostitute?

• Did Wyatt Earp kill Curly Bill at Iron Springs?

• Could Wyatt or Doc Have Killed Johnny Ringo?

• Was Doc Holliday One of the Benson Stage Robbers?

• Did Wyatt Earp Lead A Super Posse Against Old Man Clanton? (this needs to be edited from the version that ran in the magazine. I want to take out all references to modern day writers like Glenn Boyer, Timothy Fattig and Ben Traywick.).

RG gave me a great article on the CEO of the Time-Warner magazine division and how she creates new titles. She asks the staff to tell her what the magazine is about in five words or less. Like this:

Real Simple: How to simplify your life
InStyle: Celebrity fashion for real people.

So that got me to thinking about True West. Here's what I came up with:

True West: Celebrating the American West—bigtime!

Yes, That's it.

"Skill is successfully walking a tightrope over the Grand Canyon. Intelligence is not trying."
—Old Vaquero Saying

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